Because of my books, clinics, and travel, I know coaches and players from Canada and Europe who develop with FIBA rules and matriculate to the United States to play college basketball. Increasingly, I hear from these sources that college basketball is boring. These players appreciate the opportunity to play basketball and receive a free education, but they are dissatisfied, especially with the coaching and the practices. They cannot wait for the season to end, although they plan to play in Europe after graduation. In the most recent instances, this angst has nothing to do with playing time, team’s success, or other issues that lead to common complaints; one player leads her team in minutes on a league champion, and another is the team’s best player and likely all-league selection. Read the rest of this entry »
Contrast, don’t compare. When I speak to parents, this is one of the lessons that I share. Contrast your son or daughter from a previous moment of time until now to measure improvement and see how he or she is progressing, but do not compare your child to another child. Children develop and learn at different rates. Each child, each player is an individual, and should be treated as an individual. This is one of the most important lessons that I learned as a young coach from the HoopMasters director Jerome Green. Read the rest of this entry »
When I referee soccer, and especially when I am an assistant referee, I hear exactly how coaches coach during games. Often, it is apparent that they do not understand how their behaviors affect their players on the field. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the biggest criticisms of this generation is that they are immune to losing. Many attribute this flaw to the number of games that children play, as it makes any single game less important. Read the rest of this entry »
Every singles tennis match is bound by the same dimensions…. yet each one is a laboratory for innovation, unrestrained by a risk-averse coach or the conflicting desires of teammates (Bialik, 2016).
Basketball often is compared to the improvisational nature of jazz, but it tends to be played more like a well-practiced orchestra with a conductor standing and controlling the action as much as possible. Innovation is more difficult when someone conducts your actions from the sideline, and deviation from the rehearsed plan often is met with disgust and a quick substitution rather than celebrated for its creativity, as it would be in jazz. Read the rest of this entry »
I refereed a junior varsity girls soccer game this afternoon, and it was clear from the beginning that one team was better than the other. The winning team played possession soccer and regularly strung 10+ passes together before a shot or turnover. Read the rest of this entry »